Members of SLM met with the Lee Valley Regional Park on Monday night to discuss the LVRPA’s plans for a new twin-pad ice rink. The LVRPA is currently evaluating four different sites against a set of criteria. These are:
* Eton Manor
* Pickett’s Lock
* The Waterworks
* The site of the current Lee Valley Ice Rink
And, if none of these stack up or they cannot secure the funding necessary to build a new rink, they will re-furbish the current rink. Whilst it was heartening that the LVRPA are being more open about their decision-making process than they have been in the past and have committed to carrying out a full consultation with local people before making a decision, we are dismayed that all four sites are Metropolitan Open Land. Whichever way they jump, we will lose open green space. And the worry is that, eventually, they will want to develop all four sites. The LVRPA needs (or believes it needs) to generate an income and to do that it needs (or believes it needs) venues. Venues usually involve buildings or fencing, and that’s not good for those of us who like our leisure free and unstructured, and who believe that we need to preserve wild, green, open spaces at all costs.
We’re concerned that people will look at maps of the proposed development sites and think, ‘Oh, we’re only losing a little bit of land. What fun it’ll be to go ice skating or play five-a-side football on a floodlit astroturf pitch.’ And they are right, we will only lose an acre here and an acre there, but if those in power keep eating away at our green spaces (they are ours remember) then it isn’t hyperbolic to say that there will soon be nothing of them left. We have to draw a red line. We have to say no. No to development of any kind on Metropolitan Open Land. And that includes a new ice rink.
The LVRPA have shared their four site plans. They don’t show exactly where the ice rink would go at each site (it could be a different shape, for example), but they do show the rough locations and approximate footprint.